This morning, Ed and I woke up at 4:45am (Horror!) to find my mom bustling about in the kitchen. We've woken up every morning to the same phenomenon -- well, the bustling was the same anyway, though sometimes it was in the garden rather than the kitchen -- and the painful earliness of the hour did nothing to dispell her energy. We brushed our teeth and bundled into the car to take her to the airport. Ad I write this at 4pm, my mom should just be arriving, finally, at home in Aherstburg, after a flight that inclides a layover in Winnipeg and a 2-hour drive from the airport to the small town where my parents live. I am awaiting her phonecall both to hear that the trip went well, and also just to hear her voice. It's been awfully quiet around here today.
Just over a week ago, we were at the airport for the first time, waiting at the arrivals gate along with a gaggle of teenagers (some highschool exchange students were coming home), waiting for my mom to wander through the gates. She is easy to spot: her stride is that on someone who is constantly, comfortably busy. She has a round face that is meant for smiling and long brown hair, streaked grey at the sides in a very cool retro way, that is always pulled back into a clip and embellished with a huge bow (my grandfather once observed that is looked like she brought her own pillow with her). She did a little hop of joy when she saw me and we ran forward to hug. She held the huge carryon bag she was clutching out to one side so as not to squish the whole large pizza and 100 homemade perogies she had brought with her. Non only did I have my mom, I was in carb nirvana.
Thus, our adventure began.
The next day, we drove Ed to work; then, my darling wonderful husband turned over the car to my mother and I. We attacked Ikea and Costco, the Superstore and various other meccas of consumer civilization to price out and buy things for my brother (who is moving to the city in..crap, on Saturday). Meatloaves and a custard pie and even some apple cake was cooked.
and that was the FIRST DAY.
Thursday was the Poetry Orgy at the Triangle Gallery hosted by Laurie Fuhr(more pictures of this in another entry), and that meant my mom got to see me perform for the very first time. She also got to see Mark Hopkins, Colin Martin, Yvonne Werkmann, ryan fitzpatrick, Ian Kinney and Kirt Ramdath. I think every single reader mentioned cocks. at least ryan apogogized for the presence of cocks is his reading, what with my mother in the room. I, of course, am little better, as I did perform some pieces about my uncontrollable passion for Dr. Doom and brilliant, disfigured masked men in general. My mom took it all in stride, and even went out with Ed, ryan, derek, Prof. X and I for a few drinks at the Bear&Kilt. Prof X bought her a couple glasses of port and a great time was had by all.
You might notice how cute I look up there, reading away. Thta is because my mom got me what is possibly the cutest outfit even designed by man. with shoes. excellent, burgundy shoes. SHOES LIKE GROWN-UPS WEAR.
Friday, Ed cashed in some of his lieu time and we took a day trip to Banff. We wandered around town, got my dad some licorice and found me some whatchamacallits, and after a lovely picnic lunch took a multi-hour walk in Johnston Canyon. It was a perfect, cool, stunningly beautiful day. We were accosted by chipmunks, followed by a raven, and were shown the most spectacula spray-and-light show by the falls themselves. I think nature was showing of because Margaret Walschots was in town.
The rest of my mom's visit was a bit less formal --Ed and I went out for Jane's birthday and to finally get a session in on our D&D campaign. Our mom had brought our SNES with her ( Mike has been keeping it) and the music alone was enough to transport me back to being nine and cheering my brother on while he mastered fatalities and found the Master Sword. We cooked together several times, something that made me feel more peaceful and at home (in my own home) than I ahve in a very long time. We did some shopping and watched the food network. We turned the negleted pot outside into a herb garden. It was so cofortable to ahve her around it almost didn't feel like having a houseguest.
It was also very humbling, in an odd way, to have my mom around. The woman has more energy than I can imagine, and I don't imagine most people would label me low energy to begin with. She did bunch of puttering around outseide, cleaning up the frint garden beautifully, before Ed and I were even awake in the morning. All my too-long pants are hemmed. A few mysterious stains on the carpet have vanished. She even washed the washing machine. She WASHED the INSIDE of the WASHING MACHINE. SHE WASHED A MACHINE THAT IS IN FACT DESIGNED FOR WASHING. I think her activity level made Ed nervous. It was a ride to even try and keep pace with her.
And she is so proud of me, of the way we've decorated the little apartment, about how neatly (ala-retentively) I arrange all my spices and dry goods in the cabinets, about all the chapbooks and issues of magazines I have to give her that has a few words I have written in them. She has always called me her midget daughter, the littlest girl. She said she was so proud of me for being so small and doing so much, even putting my own furniture together.
I am left today with an apartment that feels quieter, emptier, less bustling. I also have a love note on the door and a fridge full of yummy things and laundry folded even neater than I manage. Ontario suddenly seems even further away.